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The Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1986

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PART XN.I.A COMPANY'S MANAGEMENT; DIRECTORS AND SECRETARIES; THEIR QUALIFICATIONS, DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Officers and registered officeN.I.

DirectorsN.I.

290.  F1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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SecretaryN.I.

291.  F2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Acts done by person in dual capacityN.I.

292.  F3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Validity of acts of directorsN.I.

293.  F4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Qualifications of company secretariesN.I.

294.  F5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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[F6Registered officeN.I.

295 .F7(1) A company shall at all times have a registered office to which all communications and notices may be addressed.

(2) On incorporation the situation of the company's registered office is that specified in the statement sent to the registrar under Article 21.

(3) The company may change the situation of its registered office from time to time by giving notice in the prescribed form to the registrar.

(4) The change takes effect upon the notice being registered by the registrar, but until the end of the period of 14 days beginning with the date on which it is registered a person may validly serve any document on the company at its previous registered office.

(5) For the purposes of any duty of a company—

(a)to keep at its registered office, or make available for public inspection there, any register, index or other document, or

(b)to mention the address of its registered office in any document,

a company which has given notice to the registrar of a change in the situation of its registered office may act on the change as from such date, not more than 14 days after the notice is given, as it may determine.

(6) Where a company unavoidably ceases to perform at its registered office any such duty as is mentioned in paragraph (5)(a) in circumstances in which it was not practicable to give prior notice to the registrar of a change in the situation of its registered office, but—

(a)resumes performance of that duty at other premises as soon as practicable, and

(b)gives notice accordingly to the registrar of a change in the situation of its registered office within 14 days of doing so,

it shall not be treated as having failed to comply with that duty.

(7) In proceedings for an offence of failing to comply with any such duty as is mentioned in paragraph (5), it is for the person charged to show that by reason of the matters referred to in that paragraph or paragraph (6) no offence was committed.]

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F7mod. by SR 2004/307

Register of directors and secretariesN.I.

296 .F8F9(1) Every company shall keep, at the same office as its register of members is kept, a register of its directors and secretaries; and the register shall, with respect to the particulars to be contained in it of those persons, comply with Articles 297 and 298.

(2) The company shall, within the period of 14 days from the occurrence of—

(a)any change among its directors or in its secretary, or

(b)any change in particulars contained in the register,

send to the registrar a notification in the prescribed form of the change and of the date on which it occurred; and a notification of a person having become a director or secretary, or one of joint secretaries, of the company shall contain a consent, signed by that person, to act in the relevant capacity.

(3) The register shallF10. . . be open to the inspection of any member of the company without charge and of any other person on payment of[F10 such fee as may be prescribed].

(4) If an inspection required under this Article is refused, or if default is made in complying with paragraph (1) or (2), the company and every officer of it who is in default is liable to a fine and, for continued contravention, to a daily default fine.

(5) In the case of a refusal of inspection of the register, the court may by order compel an immediate inspection of it.

(6) For the purposes of this Article and Article 297, a shadow director of a company is deemed a director and officer of it.

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F8mod. by 2000 c. 38

F9mod. by SR 2004/307

Particulars of directors to be registered under Article 296N.I.

297.—(1) Subject to the provisions of this Article, the register kept by a company under Article 296 shall contain the following particulars with respect to each director—

(a)in the case of an individual—

(i)his present[F11 name],

(ii)any former[F11 name],

(iii)his usual residential address,

(iv)his nationality,

(v)his business occupation (if any),

(vi)particulars of any other directorships held by him or which have been held by him, and

[F11(vii)the date of his birth;]

(b)in the case of a corporation[F11 or Scottish firm], its corporate[F11 or firm] name and registered or principal office, and particulars of any other directorships held by it or which have been held by it.

[F11(2) In paragraph (1)(a)—

(a)“name” means a person's Christian name (or other forename) and surname, except that in the case of a peer, or an individual usually known by a title, the title may be stated instead of his Christian name (or other forename) and surname, or in addition to either or both or them; and

(b)the reference to a former name does not include—

(i)in the case of a peer, or an individual normally known by a British title, the name by which he was known previous to the adoption of or succession to the title, or

(ii)in the case of any person, a former name which was changed or disused before he attained the age of 18 years or which has been changed or disused for 20 years or more, or

(iii)in the case of a married woman, the name by which she was known previous to the marriage.]

(3) It is not necessary for the register to contain on any day particulars of a directorship—

(a)which has not been held by a director at any time during the 5 years preceding that day,

(b)which is held by a director in a company which—

(i)is dormant or grouped with the company keeping the register, and

(ii)if he also held that directorship for any period during those 5 years, was for the whole of that period either dormant or so grouped,

(c)which was held by a director for any period during those 5 years in a company which for the whole of that period was either dormant or grouped with the company keeping the register.

(4) For the purposes of paragraph (3), “company” includes any body incorporated in Northern Ireland; and—

(a)[F12section 481 of the Companies Act 2006] applies as regards whether and when a company is or has been dormant, and

(b)a company is to be regarded as being or having been grouped with another at any time if at that time it is or was a company of which the other is or was a wholly-owned subsidiary, or if it is or was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the other or of another company of which that other is or was a wholly-owned subsidiary.

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Particulars of secretaries to be registered under Article 296N.I.

298.—(1) The register to be kept by a company under Article 296 shall contain the following particulars with respect to the secretary [F13(if any)] or, where there are joint secretaries, with respect to each of them—

(a)in the case of an individual, his present[F14 name], any former[F14 name] and his usual residential address, and

(b)in the case of a body corporate or a Scottish firm, its corporate or firm name and registered or principal office.

(2) Where all the partners in a firm are joint secretaries, the name and principal office of the firm may be stated instead of the particulars mentioned in paragraph (1).

[F14(3) Article 297(2)(a) and (b) apply for the purposes of the obligation under paragraph (1)(a) of this Article to state the name or former name of an individual.]

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Provisions governing appointment of directorsN.I.

Share qualifications of directorsN.I.

299.—(1) It is the duty of every director who is by the company's articles required to hold a specified share qualification, and who is not already qualified, to obtain his qualification within 2 months after his appointment, or such shorter time as may be fixed by the articles.

(2) For the purpose of any provision of the company's articles requiring a director to hold any specified share qualification, the bearer of a share warrant is not deemed the holder of the shares specified in the warrant.

(3) The office of director of a company is vacated if the director does not within 2 months from the date of his appointment (or within such shorter time as may be fixed by its articles) obtain his qualification, or if after the expiration of that period or shorter time he ceases at any time to hold his qualification.

(4) A person vacating office under this Article is incapable of being reappointed a director of the company until he has obtained his qualification.

(5) If after the expiration of that period or shorter time any unqualified person acts as a director of the company, he is liable to a fine and, for continued contravention, to a daily default fine.

Appointment of directors to be voted on individuallyN.I.

300.  F15. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Age limit for directorsN.I.

301.  F16. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Duty of director to disclose his ageN.I.

302.  F17. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Arts. 303‐310 rep. by 1989 NI 18

Removal of directorsN.I.

Resolution to remove directorN.I.

311.  F18. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Director's right to protest removalN.I.

312.  F19. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Other provisions about directors and officersN.I.

Directors' names on company correspondence, etc.N.I.

313.  F20. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Limited company may have directors with unlimited liabilityN.I.

314.—(1) In the case of a limited company, the liability of the directors or of the managing director may, if so provided by the memorandum, be unlimited.

(2) In the case of a limited company in which the liability of a director is unlimited, the directors of the company and the member who proposes any person for election or appointment to the office of director, shall add to that proposal a statement that the liability of the person holding that office will be unlimited.

(3) Before the person accepts the office or acts in it, notice in writing that his liability will be unlimited shall be given to him by the following or one of the following persons, namely—

(a)the promoters of the company,

(b)the directors of the company,

(c)the company secretary.

(4) If a director or proposer makes default in adding such a statement, or if a promoter, director or secretary makes default in giving the notice required by paragraph (3), then—

(a)he is liable to a fine, and

(b)he is also liable for any damage which the person so elected or appointed may sustain from the default;

but the liability of the person elected or appointed is not affected by the default.

Special resolution making liability of directors unlimitedN.I.

315.—(1) A limited company, if so authorised by its articles, may by special resolution alter its memorandum so as to render unlimited the liability of its directors or of any managing director.

(2) When such a special resolution is passed, its provisions are as valid as if they had been originally contained in the memorandum.

Assignment of office by directorsN.I.

316.  If provision is made by a company's articles, or by any agreement entered into between any person and the company, for empowering a director of the company to assign his office as such to another person, any assignment of office made in pursuance of that provision is (notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in the provision) of no effect unless and until it is approved by a special resolution of the company.

Directors to have regard to interests of employeesN.I.

317.  F21. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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[F22Provisions protecting directors from liabilityN.I.

[F22317A.(1) This Article applies in relation to any liability attaching to a director of a company in connection with any negligence, default, breach of duty or breach of trust by him in relation to the company.

(2) Any provision which purports to exempt (to any extent) a director of a company from any liability within paragraph (1) is void.

(3) Subject to paragraphs (4) and (5), any provision by which a company directly or indirectly provides (to any extent) an indemnity for a director of—

(a)the company, or

(b)an associated company,

against any liability within paragraph (1) is void.

(4) Paragraph (3) does not apply to a qualifying third party indemnity provision within the meaning of Article 317B(1).

(5) Paragraph (3) does not prevent a company from purchasing and maintaining for a director of—

(a)the company, or

(b)an associated company,

insurance against any liability within paragraph (1).

(6) In this Article—

associated company”, in relation to a company (“C”), means a company which is C's subsidiary, or C's holding company or a subsidiary of C's holding company;

provision” means a provision of any nature, whether or not it is contained in a company's articles or in any contract with a company.]

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Qualifying third party indemnity provisionsN.I.

317B.(1) For the purposes of Article 317A(4) a provision is a qualifying third party indemnity provision if it is a provision such as is mentioned in Article 317A(3) in relation to which conditions A to C are satisfied.

(2) Condition A is that the provision does not provide any indemnity against any liability incurred by the director—

(a)to the company, or

(b)to any associated company.

(3) Condition B is that the provision does not provide any indemnity against any liability incurred by the director to pay—

(a)a fine imposed in criminal proceedings, or

(b)a sum payable to a regulatory authority by way of a penalty in respect of non-compliance with any requirement of a regulatory nature (however arising).

(4) Condition C is that the provision does not provide any indemnity against any liability incurred by the director—

(a)in defending any criminal proceedings in which he is convicted, or

(b)in defending any civil proceedings brought by the company, or an associated company, in which judgment is given against him, or

(c)in connection with any application under any of the following provisions in which the court refuses to grant him relief, namely—

(i)Article 154(3) or (4), or

(ii)Article 675.

(5) In sub-paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of paragraph (4) the reference to any such conviction, judgment or refusal of relief is a reference to one that has become final.

(6) For the purposes of paragraph (5) a conviction, judgment or refusal of relief becomes final—

(a)if not appealed against, at the end of the period for bringing an appeal, or

(b)if appealed against, at the time when the appeal (or any further appeal) is disposed of.

(7) An appeal is disposed of—

(a)if it is determined and the period for bringing any further appeal has ended, or

(b)if it is abandoned or otherwise ceases to have effect.

(8) In this Article “associated company” and “provision” have the same meaning as in Article 317A.

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Disclosure of qualifying third party indemnity provisionsN.I.

317C.(1) Paragraphs (2) and (3) impose disclosure requirements in relation to a directors' report under Article 242 in respect of a financial year.

(2) If —

(a)at the time when the report is approved under Article 242A, any qualifying third party indemnity provision (whether made by the company or otherwise) is in force for the benefit of one or more directors of the company, or

(b)at any time during the financial year, any such provision was in force for the benefit of one or more persons who were then directors of the company,

the report must state that any such provision is or (as the case may be) was so in force.

(3) If the company has made a qualifying third party indemnity provision and—

(a)at the time when the report is approved under Article 242A, any qualifying third party indemnity provision made by the company is in force for the benefit of one or more directors of an associated company, or

(b)at any time during the financial year, any such provision was in force for the benefit of one or more persons who were then directors of an associated company,

the report must state that any such provision is or (as the case may be) was so in force.

(4) Paragraph (5) applies where a company has made a qualifying third party indemnity provision for the benefit of a director of the company or of an associated company.

(5) Article 326 shall apply to—

(a)the company, and

(b)if the director is a director of an associated company, the associated company,

as if a copy of the provision, or (if it is not in writing) a memorandum setting out its terms, were included in the list of documents in Article 326(1).

(6) In this Article—

associated company” and “provision” have the same meaning as in Article 317A; and

qualifying third party indemnity provision” has the meaning given by Article 317B(1).]

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Provisions [F23protecting] auditors from liabilityN.I.

318.  F24. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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F24Art. 318 repealed (1.10.2007 for certain purposes and 6.4.2008 otherwise) by Companies Act 2006 (c. 46), ss. 1284(2), 1295, 1300(2), Sch. 16; S.I. 2007/2194, arts. 1(3)(a), 8, Sch. 2 Pt. 2 (with art. 12); S.I. 2007/3495, art. 8(a), Sch. 2 Pt. 2 (with arts. 7, 12)

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